This just in: 3-D movies are sooo last year. Now that 2014 is officially here, it only makes sense that the 4-D movie has come along with it. CJ Group of South Korea recently introduced the new technological upgrade to theaters in South Korea, Thailand and Mexico – and have been met with rave reviews. Their next goal? Closing a deal with a nationwide U.S. movie theater chain, creating around 200 4-D theaters in the next five years. If the deal goes through, the first 4-D theater will open later this year in Los Angeles, followed by New York and several other major cities.
So what exactly is the 4-D movie theater experience like, and what makes it better than 3-D? According to CJ Group, the 4-D movie theater offers a “richer movie experience.” Features include moving seats, tiny nozzles that spray water, bubbles, mist, air and various odors from a collection of 1,000 different scents (encompassing everything from gunpowder to roses), as well as giant fans and strobe lights that simulate wind, lightning flashes and explosions. Meaning? Moviegoers are in for an experience that will literally keep them on the edge of their seats.
Tickets to the 4-D movie are estimated to cost an extra eight-dollars on top of the original ticket price, and it is predicted that the 4-D technology will help reverse the longtime decline in cinema attendance that has occurred in the U.S. thanks to Netflix, Apple TV, and other programs that make it easier to stream movies from home.
In anticipation for their U.S. release, CJ Group has set up a laboratory near Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where they will demonstrate and market the 4DX system. The theaters will have up to 240 seats, and according to a programmer for the company, it takes around 16 to 20 days to program 4-D effects into a movie, using special software that controls everything from wind level and seat vibration in conjunction with the movie.
This sounds like an interesting experiment, and while I would be open to checking out a movie with this new technology, under no circumstances am I ever going to go see Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 4-D. I couldn’t even muster up the courage to see it in 3-D, and I can’t help but think a step ahead and wonder what’s next. 5-D? And what will that entail? My guess is that it will take things a step further – either each individual will enter their own fifth dimension where they will actually feel like they are in the movie, OR additional sensations will be experienced by the viewer.
Wait, so does that mean the next time we get to see The Notebook in 5-D, we’ll actually get to see what it feels like to make out with Ryan Gosling? If so, be prepared for long lines of women out the door of the theater.